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June 5, 2006

Weekend Update 06/05/2006

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Allow us to ease you back into your work week by catching you up on some of this weekend’s biggest search-related stories.

Not exactly sure where your items go once you upload them to Google Base? Have no fear, you weren’t the only one and the Google Base blog was kind enough to clear up the confusion. In order to increase traffic, not only do your items appear in the Google Base SERP, they also end up in category-specific channels. For example, listings for local businesses will be integrated into Google Maps, while vehicle and product listings will be distributed to Froogle. Other items, like recipes, are included in some ‘experimental tests’ in Google search results. Who knew grandma’s famous apple pie recipe was getting so much play! (Though not as much as she gets on Ask [/plug].

Ryan Pitylak, the 24-year-old troublemaker formerly labeled the world’s fourth most-prolific spammer, has settled his suit with Microsoft and the state of Texas for $1 million. Pitylak was accused of routinely sending up to 25 million spam emails a day, but is now ‘claiming something of an epiphany’. Pitylak assures us he has seen the light and put an end to his spammer ways. His new mission is to become an integral part of the anti-spam community. It’s amazing how losing $1 million changes your outlook on things, huh?

Barry Schwartz points to some ‘cool tools’ for SEMs to play with in Microsoft AdCenter. ‘Play’ being the operative word, because I’m not sure how reliable they are. For example, the Demographics tool predicts 64 percent of the Bruce Clay, Inc. audience is female and that our target audience is 25 to 34. That’s interesting considering 65 percent of queries for “seo” are performed by males between the ages of 35 to 49-years-old. Though I suppose that data could be accurate. However, the other tools don’t exactly blow me away either. But maybe I’m just bitter I had to open IE to use them. I propose Microsoft use that extra $2 billion in R&D to make Firefox-compatible tools.

I got a little treat when I checked my feeds this weekend (yes, I do sit online and read noteworthy blogs during my weekends. What?) and came across Jason Schramm’s blog post about a Fortune article that highlighted Ask.com and its improving search. Though mostly fluff, the article commended Ask on its unique set tools (i.e. Binoculars, Narrow/ Expand Search Features, immediate Wikipedia results, etc.) and touted the engine as Google’s up-and-coming rival. Not that we like to brag but… we told you so.

Phil points us to a David Coallier-inspired prototype for Google Synonyms. The service blends Google Suggest technology with the all-powerful Google tilde operator. Perhaps an interesting idea, but definitely a few kinks to work out in the system. For example, typing in ‘hate’ brings up a supposed synonym of love (which, [we hope] you know, isn’t a synonym at all. It’s an antonym.) and typing in ‘love’ brings up, well some interesting terms I won’t repeat here. And that’s only if Google Synonyms realizes you’re done typing. If not, it stares at you blankly.

eBay, perhaps under Yahoo!’s influence, is jumping on the social search bandwagon and is set to launch eBay blogs and eBay Community Wiki during next week’s eBay Live. eBay blogs will give sellers a chance to market themselves and connect to potential buyers, while the Community Wiki, AuctionBytes.com, will give users a place to go to read up or contribute to related topics. Giving sellers a chance to blog about themselves? Interesting, indeed.

Seth Godin provided a rather in-depth list of how to get traffic to your blog. Some of my favorites include being snarky, writing about Google, writing about blogging, not being boring, and definitely not writing about your cat, boyfriend or kids. Check.

Lastly, trim Jeremy Zawodny clues his faithful readers in on how he as able to lose fifty pounds over the last year. Unfortunately, Jeremy outlines an actual plan that includes calorie counting, daily weighing and identifying the difference between ‘not hungry’ and ‘full’. I was kind of hoping there was a magic pill involved, but alas, there’s none of that. Jeremy will be handing out more useful tips everyday this week, so those watching their waist line should keep an eye out ‘Tis the season.

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